Since Nintendo Ds was born, it has been the main target for minigames and puzzle games producers, getting the owners of this great portable console tired with up and down quality products. “Professor Layton and the curious village” brings some new likeable fresh air into the puzzlegames genre, offering a deep and complete game experience, a sit perfectly combines a “point and click” structure with the typical puzzlegame variety.
The game’s got a plot, which is an unusual feature in its genre, and it’s very absorbing too. Professor Layton, known enigmas and brainteasers expert, is called by a little lost-somewhere town family to solve some problems of a very particular will, in which the dead one wants to leave his own properties just to the one who can find the Golden Apple. The plot, after a few gaming moments, takes an unexpected way and the professor, together with his little assistant Luke, finds himself investigating on a murder, probably connected to some other vanishing. All of this will take our protagonists to deeply dig into the town’s past, until unveiling the secret of a mysterious and bizarre tower majestically rising inside it.
To finish this very original adventure, the player will have to explore the whole scenario by an intuitive control system based on touch screen. By moving through the detailed 2D scenarios, you’ll talk o the inhabitants you can meet on your path, who will repeatedly ask you solve one of the 120 enigmas in the game before you can get from them some useful information to continue. As you have some “point and click” elements, you’ll be sometimes asked to go to some person or to visit a determined place to be able to continue, but nothing that requires any particular exploration skills, despite the town is wide and different enough. The choice of programmers to give a less relevant importance to the exploration helps the user experience because, this way, you can concentrate on the focus feature of the game: enigmas!
Solving enigmas has never been this fun: brainteasers suggested by the game not only range for the several kinds that you can meet (math, logic, ability, wariness) but they almost ever result frustrating, as there are no time limits or straining warning in case of a bad answer. To help the player on the road to knowledge there are some golden coins, that you can get by clicking on some determined scenario objects, you can buy different helps by to pass over the most intricate brainteasers. Once you’ll be asked for an enigma, on the main screen of DS you’ll see its description, while on the lower one, you’ll have to solve it. When you’ll get some logic/math questions, the lower screen will let you write some calculus or to draw, allowing you not to use any external instruments to solve the harder enigmas. During the adventure there are a couple of checkpoints, hidden under the form of doors or people, which can be crossed just if you’ve answered a minimum (and high enough) number of solved enigmas.
Graphic and sound
Talking about graphics, the title is a little pearl. The bottoms in 2D are rich in details and the characters are perfectly featured. The plot is, from time to time, gotten richer by wonderful videos, worthy of Miyazaki‘s animations movies and the sound gives us some important speech for the story. Everything is hardly cured, scenarios, besides being very detailed, are extremely original and evocative just like characters.
In order to finish, “Professor Layton and the curious village” is a title that will keep you pasted to your double-screened console for a very long time, also thanking the free service which will let you download new weekly enigmas, and that will let you involve friends and relatives, just to make you solve the next enigma